ARA Wins $2.6 Million Army Contract for Burn Injury Training

Early-stage high-fidelity real-time interactive virtual burn patients on mobile Android and iOS platforms

The Virtual Heroes Division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) has won a contract with the Army Research Laboratory to build a virtual trainer that helps medics treat serious burn injuries. The Burn Computer Application for Research and Education (BurnCARE) serious game for mobile devices will address the full course of treatment, from evaluation of injuries to longer-term hospital care. The contract includes a one-year base and a one-year option with a ceiling of $2.6 million, including funding for the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.  

The goal of BurnCARE is to help the Army address complex burn care evaluation and treatment procedures. The trainer will feature high-fidelity 3D virtual patients and realistic burns and hospital environments, tracking multiple patients over virtual “work shift” sessions. Virtual Heroes will create new burn patient models currently unavailable to the Army: 3D representations of burn patients with varying levels of injury, the ability to track evolving injuries over time, and consequences visualized from proper and improper treatment protocols. BurnCARE’s physiology engine (the open source BioGears™ engine) will simulate burn response by accounting for fluid loss, increased vascular resistance, thermoregulation, hypothermia, infection, and related conditions.

“We are excited to work with the Army to help medics treat complex burn injuries,” said Randy Brown, ARA VP and Virtual Heroes Division Manager. “By leveraging the most advanced game rendering technology available — the Unreal Engine™ — we can represent the exact placement, severity, and appearance of realistic burn injuries. Practice with high-fidelity, realistic virtual scenarios will help today’s medics better evaluate and treat their burn patients.”

BurnCARE is being developed for iOS and Android mobile platforms to support ease of access and wide distribution.

For 15 years the Virtual Heroes Division of ARA has been working to advance the state of the art in training realism for the warfighter. More information on Virtual Heroes can be found at

About Virtual Heroes

The Virtual Heroes Division of ARA creates 3D interactive learning solutions and synthetic virtual environments for educational, medical, corporate, and government organizations. Our staff includes industry experts with over 20 years of synthetic environment experience across the Live, Virtual, and Constructive domains. Virtual Heroes is located in Raleigh, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida.

For more information, please visit: and

Randy Brown
ARA Vice President, Virtual Heroes Division Manager

About ARA

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) was founded in 1979, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to offer science and engineering research to solve problems of national importance. ARA delivers leading-edge products and innovative solutions for national defense, energy, homeland security, aerospace, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. With over 1,700 employee-owners at locations in the U.S. and Canada, ARA offers a broad range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, biomedical engineering, environmental technologies, and blast testing and measurement.